Fortress’s Credit business was launched in 2002 by Pete Briger. Today, the Fortress Credit team consists of approximately 500 professionals and is focused on investing globally, primarily in undervalued assets and distressed and illiquid credit investments. The investment team, led by Managing Partners Pete Briger, Dean Dakolias, Drew McKnight and Joshua Pack, has a long and established track record investing throughout a number of credit and distressed cycles around the world, including the RTC Workout, Asian Financial Crisis, and Global Financial Crisis. With approximately 120 professionals dedicated to asset management in 13 geographic locations, the Fortress Credit team also has the experience and expertise to manage and service assets with operational complexity.
Through the Fortress Credit team’s extensive sourcing capabilities, corporate and asset based loans are directly originated to middle market companies in a broad array of industries and against numerous asset class. The Corporate & Asset Based Loans team has the flexibility to structure and price debt across all levels of the capital structure including senior, unitranche, second lien and mezzanine, often with equity co-investments. The team employs a dynamic, multi-faceted underwriting approach which looks to underlying cash flows and enterprise value or to the value of tangible and intangible assets. The team employs this analytical approach in all situations including buyouts, refinancings, growth, rescue, and distressed environments.
The Corporate Securities team focuses on event-driven, idiosyncratic opportunities that exist in publicly traded securities across the capital structure. The team generally concentrates on out of favor industries where securities trade at stressed and distressed levels allowing for substantial upside. The investment model emphasizes deep industry and company-specific research as a backdrop to formulating opinions on intrinsic value, cash flow potential and eventual recoveries. The Corporate Securities team also emphasizes analysis of indentures and credit agreements and other relevant legal documents that may govern the securities in order to formulate further investments, including those surrounding litigation opportunities and inter-capital structure arbitrage.
The Portfolio Acquisitions team invests in portfolios of performing and non-performing loans and assets in a variety of industries acquired from sellers including governmental organizations, banks and other financial organizations. The team is an active buyer of illiquid portfolios and has the ability to transact in size and on an expedited timeframe. The team also acts as a third party manager for large, liquidating, asset portfolios that involve organizational and asset-level complexity.
The Real Estate Loans & Equity teams are focused on investing in distressed real estate loan acquisitions, special situation equity investments and recapitalizations, opportunistic lending, REIT debt and commercial real estate structured products. The teams have long standing distressed investing and asset management experience with a fully tested and integrated origination, acquisition, underwriting, asset and risk management infrastructure.
The ABS & Residential Assets team has substantial experience investing in asset-backed and residential securities and loans. The team applies a rigorous bottom-up approach to analyzing the underlying borrowers and collateral of each asset, with an emphasis on fundamental value and principal preservation. The team utilizes intensive asset management and risk management techniques to maximize the value of its loan and security positions.
The Fortress Credit business employs a broad range of strategies to invest globally in credit and assets. Our strategies are described below.
Fortress’ credit private equity strategies focus on primarily opportunistic investments in distressed and undervalued credits / assets across various asset classes. Investments may be time sensitive or event driven where we believe risk is fundamentally mispriced. Fortress also offers strategies with specific investment focus areas.
Fortress’ lending strategies focus on investments primarily in senior secured loans across various differentiated lending sectors. The majority of loans are directly originated by Fortress or where we are the lead club arranger.
Fortress’ real estate focus on primarily opportunistic investments in commercial real estate across the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Fortress’ credit hedge fund strategies focus on investments in both private and public credit across loans, corporate debt and securities, portfolios and orphaned assets, real estate, and structured finance.
Fortress’ securities and income strategies focus on income-generating assets and asset-based fixed income securities.
The following factors differentiate the Fortress Credit team from other credit investors:
The Fortress Credit team has lengthy experience as credit investors. Senior credit team members were actively investing during the US Savings & Loan Crisis and in related RTC opportunities, and led major investment efforts in Asia during the Asian Financial Crisis. The team’s credit experience extends across all of our investment groups (ABS & Residential Assets, Corporate & Asset Based Loans, Corporate Securities, Portfolio Acquisitions, Real Estate Loans & Equity) creating valuable cross-class expertise. The Credit team’s deep, long term history as active credit investors through various types of investment environments has created a process and discipline which set the team apart from market participants who have only recently become interested in credit opportunities as a result of disruptions in global markets.
The Fortress Credit team pursues a broad, diversified strategy covering multiple asset classes and structures, supported by professionals in each of the primary investment groups. This allows the team to move in and out of sectors based on changing circumstances and to tackle opportunities requiring specialization in more than one investment category. This approach positions the Credit team to take advantage of investment opportunities that fall between the cracks of managers without the capability to underwrite diverse pools of credits.
The Fortress Credit team is an active, fundamental value, asset based investor. The team is comfortable with, and to some degree specializes in, difficult credits, difficult borrowers and difficult situations. The Credit team is very focused on properly pricing, structuring, collateralizing, monitoring and, if necessary, litigating to maximize the value of credit investments.
The Fortress Credit team is extremely active in maximizing the value of investments through intensive asset management. The Credit team includes over 80 dedicated asset management professionals in eleven geographic locations. Certain transactions are economically compelling because returns will be generated through intensive servicing, such as in residential whole loans. The Fortress Credit team has been an active owner and operator in managing distressed assets and is fully capable and qualified to continue to manage and service complex assets.
Mr. Briger is Co-Chief Executive Officer of Fortress and has been a member of the board of directors of Fortress since November 2006. Mr. Briger has been a member of the Management Committee of Fortress since 2002. Mr. Briger is responsible for the Credit and Real Estate business at Fortress.
Prior to joining Fortress in March 2002, Mr. Briger spent fifteen years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he became a partner in 1996. Mr. Briger serves on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, is the Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Investment Committee and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, Mr. Briger serves on the board of several charitable organizations, including the UCSF Foundation and Tipping Point.
Mr. Briger received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Dakolias is a Managing Partner of the Fortress Credit Funds Business. Mr. Dakolias also serves on Fortress’s Management and Operating Committees.
Prior to joining Fortress in 2001, Mr. Dakolias was a Managing Director, Chief Credit Officer and co-founder of American Commercial Capital LLC (a specialty finance company) and Coronado Advisors (an SEC registered broker dealer), both of which were sold to Wells Fargo & Co. in 2001. Mr. Dakolias was previously a director at RER Financial Group where he was responsible for the firm's acquisition efforts as a principal and as a provider of third party due diligence and asset management.
Mr. Dakolias serves on the Board of Trustees for Columbia University, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Millbrook School. Mr. Dakolias is also a co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of The Hellenic Initiative, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Dakolias received a B.S. in Physics from Columbia University.
Mr. McKnight is a Managing Partner of the Credit Funds Business. Mr. McKnight heads the liquid strategies and serves on the investment committee for the Credit Funds and is a member of the Management Committee of Fortress. Mr. McKnight is also the Co-CIO of Credit & Lending Funds at Fortress.
Prior to joining Fortress in February 2005, Mr. McKnight was at Fir Tree Partners where he was responsible for analyzing and trading high yield and convertible bonds, bank debt, derivatives and equities for the value-based hedge fund. Prior to Fir Tree, Mr. McKnight worked at Goldman, Sachs in Leveraged Finance and the Distressed Bank Debt trading group.
Mr. McKnight received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Pack is a Managing Partner of the Credit Funds Business. Mr. Pack heads the illiquid strategies and serves on the investment committee for the Credit Funds and is a member of the Management Committee of Fortress. Mr. Pack is also the Co-CIO of Credit & Lending Funds at Fortress.
Mr. Pack has 20 years of credit investment and workout experience through multiple credit cycles. Since joining the Credit Funds Business at its inception in 2002, Mr. Pack has analyzed, structured and negotiated hundreds of lending, structured equity and real estate transactions. Prior to joining Fortress, Mr. Pack was a Vice President with Wells Fargo & Co. in the capital markets group. Before that, Mr. Pack was a Vice President with American Commercial Capital, an independent specialty finance company focused on corporate and real estate lending to middle market businesses that was subsequently acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. in 2001. Mr. Pack serves as a Director on multiple corporate and philanthropic Boards.
Mr. Pack attended the United States Air Force Academy and received a B.A. in Economics from California State University, San Marcos.
Marc K. Furstein is the President of Credit Funds at Fortress Investment Group LLC and is also a member of the firm’s Management Committee.
Prior to joining Fortress in July 2001, Mr. Furstein co-founded and was the Chief Operating Officer of American Commercial Capital (a specialty finance company) and Coronado Advisors (an SEC registered broker dealer). Both companies were sold to Wells Fargo in 2001. Prior to that, Mr. Furstein was co-manager of the opportunistic real estate loan business of Goldman, Sachs & Co. In that position, he structured and negotiated senior and mezzanine commercial loans and acquisition facilities. Mr. Furstein was also involved in the acquisition of distressed business, consumer and real estate loans and had responsibility for the management of more than 60 portfolios of such assets. In this role, he designed and oversaw the implementation of financial reporting, tax, compliance and asset management systems, policies and procedures. Mr. Furstein started his career in Goldman’s Financial Institutions Group, where he focused on M&A transactions and corporate finance.
Mr. Furstein received a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.